City of Syracuse owed nearly $12 million in unpaid parking tickets

Local News

If you have unpaid parking tickets in the City of Syracuse, your name will be known.

According to a more than 900-page document obtained by NewsChannel 9, as of January, the city was owed $11,883,869.57 in unpaid parking tickets.

One person on the list owes more than $12,000 alone.

The total of unpaid tickets is 185,784. You can read the full list below:

The City of Syracuse says the money owed could go toward fixing other issues.

“The city can benefit from any revenue it can find,” said Director of City Initiatives Greg Loh. “In this case, these are the kinds of things that can help us improve the quality of our roads and help with potholes.”

The City continues to use new technology and “booting” to get people to pay up.

When a vehicle is booted, a device is attached to a wheel of your vehicle to prevent the car from moving. In Syracuse, you can be booted if you have three or more tickets that are more than 90 days old. The 90 days is the period someone is given to challenge a ticket or plead guilty.

“So with a booting program, we’re able to use automated technologies to read license plates automated and then be able to identify vehicles that drivers who have three or more tickets that are over ninety days,” Loh said. “And in those cases those vehicles will be subject to booting.”

The Syracuse Parking Violations Bureau started booting vehicles in 2007. The total dollars collected spiked after the initiative was instituted and has stayed relatively consistent.

PARKING VIOLATIONS COLLECTIONS BY YEAR (according to the City of Syracuse)

2005: $1,241,336.15

2006: $1,078,095.17

2007 (First year of booting): $4,929,901.43

2008: $4,017,343.57

2009: $4,030,318.09

2010: $3,755,994.51

2011: $3,553,300.61

2012: $3,349,207.72

2013: $3,228,731.21

2014: $3,311,956.21

2015:$3,340,382.85

2016:$3,437,310.27

2017:$3,914,692.18

2018:$4,387,802.72

Since booting began, the city averages just more than $3.7 million dollars collected a year. City officials project that it has taken in an additional $32 million because of the booting program.

According to Loh, in the past year the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles merged it system and has the ability to keep track of multiple license plates for one person’s vehicle.

For example, if a person owed $100 in parking tickets to the City of Syracuse but changed their plates, the city now has the ability to see that person owes $100 when reading the person’s new plate.

The problem of collecting unpaid tickets isn’t unique to Syracuse. The City already has ways to making paying for parking easier, and paying for tickets easier. There is an app you can use when parking in the City of Syracuse to extend you time in a space as well.

“So if you have a backlog of tickets, the city offers a payment program that you can make arrangements to pay back your tickets over a period of time and while you’re paying back your fines, as long as you’re making your payments you won’t be subject to being booted,” Loh said. “We’re working on plans right now to introduce credit card payment for parking violations. We’re conducting a study on setting up a one stop payment system at City Hall, a single place to go and pay bills or fines with the city.”

The Parking Ticket Collection Bureau can be reached at (315) 479-5300 or at parking@syrgov.net.

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